(St. John’s, NL, December 2013) The Provincial Government has negotiated a $49.5 million contract with Damen Shipyards to deliver a new 80-metre vessel to service Bell Island. The official contract was signed today on Bell Island and the new ferry is scheduled to arrive in the province in February 2016.

Upon reler4ase oif the statement, Nick McGrath, Minister of Transportation and Works said, “Our government recognizes how important ferry services are to all residents of the province that rely on marine transportation. With an investment of $49.5 million to provide a new ferry for Bell Island and the previously announced $10 million investment in wharf infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the new ferry, we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to advancing our vessel replacement strategy and supporting long-term prosperity for the region.”

The Bell Island ferry route has the highest level of marine traffic in the province, providing service to over 530,000 passengers and close to 250,000 vehicles annually.

In support of thjis annoiuncement, David Brazil, MHA for Bell Island said, “This is tremendous news for the residents of Bell Island, marking the beginning of a new era for our community. Residents, commuters, tourists and business people will all benefit greatly. I look forward to celebrating the arrival of the new state-of-the-art vessel.”

The contract with Damen Shipyards calls for a sister ship to the new ferry for Fogo Island and Change Islands – a 14 knot, 80-metre ice-class vessel with roll-on, roll-off capability and a capacity to carry 200 passengers and 60 vehicles.

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Media contacts:
Carol Ann Carter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 631-9505
carolanncarter@gov.nl.ca    

Jan W. van Hogerwou

Manager North America
Damen Shipyards Gorinchem
Mobile: +31 (0)653 89 00 45
jan.van.hogerwou@damen.com